The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is pleased to announce it has been selected as a winner of a 2020 Sustainable Communities Award for exceptional work in the Visionary Award category for Accelerate Kootenays.
The award honours and celebrates the most innovative environmental initiatives in cities and communities across Canada.
The announcement was made earlier Monday by FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities).
In collaboration with the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK), the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) and Columbia Basin Trust, the Accelerate Kootenays Project was the first community driven collaborative strategy to build a clean transportation network by installing public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EV) throughout the region within communities.
The project was coordinated over three years, at the cost of $1.89 million, and involved multiple partners with varying expertise to transform a rural region into one that facilitates EV travel.
The project successfully demonstrated how regional governments and organizations can collaborate to deploy a charging network through strategic partnerships: to locate station siting and regional appropriate technology and outreach.
It effectively increased traffic at charging stations in rural areas, bolstered economic development opportunities for local businesses, contributed to reducing greenhouse gases in the transportation sector, and has been recognized provincially, nationally and internationally.
“It was a pleasure to work on this project which presented tangible results and set the path for our region to continue working towards reducing our greenhouse gas emissions within the transportation sector,” said Sangita Sudan, RDCK General Manager of Development and Community Sustainability Services.
“I would like to recognize Megan Lohmann from Community Energy Association for her leadership in guiding the project delivery.”
“The Accelerate Kootenays Project also demonstrated that together we can go far to achieve regional scale innovation through strategic partnerships, collaboration and continue to seek opportunities to develop legacy projects,” Sudan added.
The RDCK is one of the 11 winners (local government or municipality) from across the country chosen by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) for their outstanding efforts in one of nine categories: asset management, brownfields, climate change, energy, neighbourhoods, transportation, waste, water and a new category in honour of Green Municipal Fund (GMF’s) 20th anniversary.
Winners will each deliver a live, TED-talk-style presentation on their projects at FCM’s virtual Sustainable Communities Conference – held on October 20-22, 2020. Recipients in each category are also eligible for the Inspire Award, given to the most creative and innovative project following the conference.
“Local solutions — scaled up — deliver major national impact, like economic growth and the emission reductions Canada needs to meet its climate change goals,” said Bill Karsten, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.
“Whether it is through improved energy efficiency, fewer greenhouse gas emissions or stronger local infrastructure, local governments get the job done efficiently and cost-effectively because they connect solutions to local needs and local realities.
This year's FCM Sustainable Communities Award winners embody those principles of sustainability and collaboration. Moreover, they exemplify how municipal innovation can have concrete impacts and deliver for Canadians.”
The Sustainable Communities Awards is an initiative of FCM’s Green Municipal Fund (GMF), a $1 billion program, delivered through the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and funded by the Government of Canada.